Throughout my life I’ve struggled with fitting into the “norm.” One of the earliest examples is when I invited my imaginary friends to dinner at my grandparent’s house next door- place settings and all- thinking (and truly believing) my friends would show up. Maybe they did. Anyway, I much preferred what was going on in my imagination to people in the actual, physical world.
I’m still that way a lot of the time.
As an only child, my days were filled with art, drawing, and imagination- not social interactions. I often fall in love with ideas, with feelings, and with inspiration. Sometimes, and this has happened more than I can count, I fall in love with what I want something to be, not what it actually is.
Perhaps this is one of the reasons I’ve done so well in long distance (or even unofficial) relationships. It allows me the freedom and time, yet also fills that “companionship” void. No daily obligations, no unrealistic expectations. Shouldn’t life be all about going with the flow and having fun, anyway? Life is so serious on its own, let’s not complicate it more than we need to.
This brings me to the “expectations” part of my train of thought. Society tells us how a typical family looks, from nightly sitcoms to fairy tales illustrating living “happily ever after.” We think there will be a meet cute, some drama, and in the end, we get swept off our feet…but there’s a finish line. Marriage, family, kids.
People rush into things because they think it’s what they’re supposed to do.
There’s no right or wrong, but I honestly can’t see myself living that life- and even if I did get married and have a child, I’d probably live in a city apartment on the East Coast, not out in the ‘burbs with a list of household chores and yard work.
Sure, I turn 34 this year and people tell me “there’s time,” but what if I don’t need time? What if I know what I want?
I’ve thought about this time and time again, and I’ve tried to warm to the idea of going home to a house full of people, jam-packed weekends with activities, and taking care of others. Call me selfish, but I don’t want that. At all.
It’s okay to want what you want. While I’m not writing this to put down the choices of others, I want to make it clear that it’s okay to want something different than what others expect of you. Life should allow you room to grow, explore, and to follow your heart- not the “norm.”
Live the life you love. I promise it will all fall into place if you listen to your gut, take chances, and step out of your comfort zone. You’ll only regret the chances you don’t take.